• May 23rd 2008 at 12:34PM
  • 14
American car buyers have been turning away from large trucks and SUVs for a while now, and Ford executives think they know what did it: $3.50 for a gallon of gasoline.

Automotive News (subs req'd) reports that Ford CEO Alan Mulally spoke last night to automotive reporters and revealed that his company's internal sales data from early May (combined with earlier reports) shows that the move toward smaller vehicles "is more dramatic and permanent than previously projected," in AN's words. Mulally said that the $3.50 level was when buying shifts "really started to move." Ford's U.S. pickup sales numbers dropped from 14.1 percent of its retail sales in 2007 to 13 percent in early 2008 to 11 percent in April to just 9 percent so far in May. SUV sales dropped as well (from 8.4 to 6.8 to 5.2 to 4.4 percent in the same time frames). Looking to the future, Ford is estimating that U.S. gas prices will sit somewhere between $3.75 and $4.25 a gallon for the rest of this year and next.

[Source: Automotive News (subs req'd)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Their problem is they don't have any hybrids coming. The Focus would have been an obvious choice, but alas nothing.

      Ford will get a gov bailout in 2012.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Come on Ford, where is your hydraulic hybrid truck you've been working on?

      Also: I really wonder if people who buy trucks will rush to 20mpg hybrid trucks. I mean, its only 20 mpg. With a 25 gallon tank, and $4/g, you are still looking at 100 bucks to go 500 miles... whoah, that is actually kind of impressive for an 8 passenger SUV. I hadn't done the math before. Its $115 to go around 390 miles in a standard Tahoe (5.3).

      All the efficient cars/trucks that the car makers have been sitting one wondering if they will be profitable are about to become reality.
      • 7 Years Ago
      well do you think???? The line was been drawn and ad the price in my area stays at 4:12 a gallon for gas the sales of trucks will keep on decreasing !
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's really scary is that the CEO of a car company says that gas will stay between 3.75-4/gallon for the rest of the this year and the next. Seeing as how that directly affects their product I'm sure they put a good effort into that research. Ouch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tuesday night gas was $3.95 for regular, Thursday morning gas was $4.15 (still for regular)

      The USD$ is in free fall, heaven help us.

      How about a direct injection 3.7 V6, 285hp on regular, ZF 8 speed automatic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I disagree. When housing markets, job markets, food prices and gas all piled together began taking it's toll on consumers gas was at $3.50. However, I believe the gas prices were already making consumers change their ways long before it reached $3.50. That would just be the peak gas price when the perfect recession storm formed, not the tipping point.
      • 7 Years Ago
      JUST LOOK at that POS truck in the above picture....honestly...someone has to an utter fktard to want to drive one of those things as daily transportation.

      It's really too bad the rest of us who give a damn about our future and environment have to support the douchebags who don't.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well... I see this completely differently for Ford. They have some compelling stuff coming really quicly:

      2009 Escape - better mileage across the line.
      2010 Fusion - launches January 09 with about 1.5-2 mpg better mileage and with a hybrid
      2010 Fiesta - launches Q3/Q4 09 with est. 40 mpg highway (that 54 is for an engine that people in America would hate because it has so little power).
      2011 Focus - launches middle of 2010.
      2010/11 Edge/Taurus/Flex hybrids (rumored still, but stronger rumors than ever - V6 hybrid program).
      2009 Ecoboost line-up starts proliferating
      2010 DSG transmission makes NA debut, spreading throughout the lineup
      2011 Smaller diesels show up
      2010-2011 CUV below the Escape
      2010-2011 New Ranger
      2012-2014 Ford's plug-in hybrid with power grid compatibility to create an energy trading market (unlike the Volt or Toyota PHEV plans).

      Some of that is confirmed, other parts of that are rumors, but the most confident rumors as opposed the clearly wrong "2010 100 MPG Escort???!!"

      It is going to be a rough year for Ford. They were counting higher demand for their trucks through the middle of 2009 while they shore up their car offerings, but clearly, they ran out of time. However, they still have the offerings coming...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not a liberal, I consider myself a conservative libertarian, but even I believe that we need to conserve our energy resourses better.
      Ford has been surviving on the profits from SUV sales for years. They have been trying to milk the trend for about 5 years too long.

      You can make safe people haulers that are fuel efficient. Just look at the turbo diesels and supercharged 4 bangers in the JDM family vans. The average MPG for a JDM car is about 40 MPG.

      Ford knows this. Mazda uses a miller cycle engine in the Mazda2 two that gets 54 mpg on the highway. This could be used in the fiesta and would sell like crazy. They could have brought the fiesta over last year, but they hesitated.

      You need to hire better market researchers, ford. Maybe you should just start listening to the ones you have. Nobody wants a Ford Fusion that looks like the last generation accord, and gets the worst economy in the segment.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe this will encourage them to hurry up with their new hybrids and increase production on the Escape/Mariner hybrids.

      I fear that if they don't, the next few years are really going to hurt (even more then the past has).

      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford is so out of touch with the reality of peak oil that it's scarey.
      • 7 Years Ago
      US CEOs are worse than useless, corrupt, inbred morons.
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